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FFA praise Sydney's signing of Blackburn's Emerton

Football Federation Australia (FFA) has today described Sydney FC's signing of Qantas Socceroo Brett Emerton as a landmark moment for the Hyundai A-League in Australia's most competitive sports marketplace.

Emerton learned his football in the junior ranks in Greater Western Sydney and was a star for Sydney Olympic in the former National Soccer League.

"Brett Emerton is the quintessential football success story," said FFA CEO Ben Buckley.

"He developed on the fields in football's heartland in Sydney's west, before a spectacular spell in the NSL in his home town then great success in Europe and on the international stage with the Qantas Socceroos.

"Sydney FC has found the ideal marquee player and a wonderful ambassador in Brett Emerton. On behalf of the football community, I congratulate Sydney FC on securing Brett's signature and I'm delighted to say 'welcome home, Brett'."

In terms of connecting the Hyundai A-League with the grassroots of the game, Brett Emerton embodies the compelling story of football's burgeoning participation base, the technical development pathway and the professional career opportunities that football provides.

"Sydney is a hugely competitive sports marketplace with over 20 professional teams, but Sydney FC now has a new advantage with the credibility, profile and character that Brett Emerton will bring," said Ben Buckley.

"Let's not forget that Brett is leaving the English Premier League at the top of his game and will add pure football class to the Hyundai A-League."

Emerton's signing comes just five days after Melbourne Victory announced the signing of Qantas Socceroo star Harry Kewell.

In this off-season fellow Qantas Socceroos Dario Vidosic and Jon McKain have also returned to Australia to play with Adelaide United in the Hyundai A-League.

Emerton, the Qantas Socceroos second highest all-time capped player, arrives from Blackburn Rovers following an 11 year stint in Europe.

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